Stalin does not have the heart to praise TN govt's anti- COVID-19 performance: Minister

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Chennai, Nov 3 (PTI) Tamil Nadu's performance in bringing down the coronavirus positivity rate to 3.5 per cent has won it appreciation from the Centre and the people, but the Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin is unable to 'tolerate' it, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said here on Tuesday.

A declining trend was evident as regards the spread of coronavirus in the state, owing to a string of measures by integrating all government departments, Vijayabaskar said.

'The positivity rate is 3.5 per cent in Tamil Nadu and this is pretty less when compared with other states,' he told reporters here.

The daily case count has been on the decline (less than 2,500 cases recently) and active cases stood at 19,201 as on date.

Well over one crore samples have undergone reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests, the 'golden standard test for COVID-19 testing,' and Tamil Nadu has done the highest number of tests in the country to detect the infection , he said.

This was among the strategies that has helped the state rein in the spread of the pathogen, he said.

A total of 70,398 samples were tested and1,01,69,917 specimens have undergone RT-PCR scrutiny till date in 203 COVID labs in the state,according to a bulletin.

Tamil Nadu provided RT-PCR results in about 10 hours from the earlier 24 hours, Vijayabaskar said.

Even developed countries needed about seven days for declaring RT-PCR results previously and this has now come down to three days, he said to underscore that the state has been performing better due to its health infrastructure.

Pointing to several strategies to tackle the pandemic, including a ramp-up of capacity, he said 'the state has made a historic achievement of 1.39 lakh (COVID-19) beds and 203 labs.

Over 75 per cent of tests are carried out only in government labs.' Out of the 203 labs in Tamil Nadu, 66 are in government and 137 in the private sector.

The Minister recalled that such a massive scale-up had a humble start of just one lab at the state run King Institute (Chennai) and 10 beds at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

During his national level COVID-19 review, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the holistic initiatives of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and asked other states to replicate such measures, he said, adding the people were also appreciative of the government.

'The leader of the Opposition (LoP) has no heart to appreciate and he is also unable to tolerate the praise,' the Minister said.

Hitting out at Stalin, Vijayabaskar praised the Chief Minister for his initiatives and for inspections in person to tackle the virus, while the 'LoP' confined himself to virtual meetings and issuing statements.

He noted that some developed countries were grappling with a second wave of the virus and asked people in Tamil Nadu to cooperate and prevent it's spread. PTI VGN APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH